Trends in Designing and Building
Real Estate

Trends in Designing and Building

As construction professionals, it is important to stay up to date about the design-build trends. Knowing and understanding trends, what influences these and how to apply them to your next design is crucial.

CONSTRUCTION WORLD, as a countdown to the 16th edition of the CWAB (CW Architects and Builders) Awards to be held on August 20 organised a series of webinar. The third webinar on ‘Design-Build Trends’ was organised on August 18.

Prior to this, CW organised a webinar on Designing the Future of Architecture’  on August 6 and on ‘Women in Construction & Architecture  on August 13.

In his keynote Architect Hafeez Contractor said, “Our population is increasing and the need for housing is very large. How we are going to build our future cities is the focus and we need to do it the right way. Our urban cover is quite large compared to other countries. We should not take the farm lands but instead keep them protected for the future. We have to focus on the present urban areas and think about redevelopment. We need to make our cities more compact and denser. We need to provide proper affordable housing to our citizens and that will help us grow as a nation.”

India is a growing and developing country. “If we do not create vertical growth, people will be living in slums and they will be a burden on the city,” added Contractor. “Housing is the most important thing for our country. Proper housing will increase health standards and also help in making people more productive in work. We have to get the housing prices to be affordable and livable. The airports should be away from the city, and not curb the land in the cities. We should preserve land and have condensed cities. That is where vertical growth comes in hand.”

He further added, “Old materials will give away and we have to think about new materials, because the population will grow as well. We would have to make housing for all, because of which building material prices will increase as well. So, we have to think about new sustainable, affordable, earthquake-proof and other hazard-proof materials which will help in making buildings in small plots. We will be seeing 200-storey buildings and vertical gardens, so the structures should be able to withstand all the natural calamities as well.”

Today, time and money plays an important role. “We have devised a new way to do economic housing, where we can give more number of flats in the same area. We are giving 10 per cent of more useable area. We are using materials and land to the maximum capacity in the most sustainable way. More problems will help in better creativity,” added Contractor.

His empowering keynote was followed by an enthusiastic discussion moderated by Ramesh Nair, CEO India & Managing Director, Market Development, Colliers, with panel members including Anil Beejawat, CEO, RAK Ceramics India; Sheetal Rakheja, Partner, AEON Designs; Sumit Rakshit, Managing Director & Head Project Management Services, Savills India; Ravi Sarangan, Co-founder, Edifice and Vinod Rohira, CEO, Mindspace Business. Excerpts:

Ramesh Nair: What are the changing needs of occupiers witnessed in the last 15-17 months?
Sumit Rakshit: Due to the pandemic, the role of the physical office has indeed changed. Some key takeaways from our occupier clients are: More flexible work is expected and hybrid work will require hybrid work places. Portfolio adjustment is bound to happen and long term strategies are a consideration. The workplace is quickly changing from the dedicated private space to a shared collaborative space. The whole space is being rebuild around the employee experience.

Ramesh Nair: What are some of the big design changes you have been seeing in the workplace post-Covid?
Sheetal Rakheja: Earlier, people used to look at per person per square feet going to high density, now it is back to giving more space to per work station. Looking at the environment, the offices are bringing Nature in. A lot of importance is being given to wellness and sustainability. The focus is changing to rethinking of spaces, taking social distancing as an important factor and making it minimalistic.

Ramesh Nair: What are the technological changes seen in the office spaces post-COVID?
Ravi Sarangan: Technology in a way has enabled us to work remotely. It always helped us to design, visualise, stimulate and get to see it before you build it. Technology, along with Artificial Intelligence, is going to help us in construction and help minimise errors. Today, IoT helps us monitor projects from the comfort of our home and faraway places, and in future, it will get even more simpler. But, there will a time when there will be a barrier to technology as well.

Ramesh Nair: As one of the largest developers in the country, what are you doing to give back comfort to occupiers to return to the workplace?
Vinod Rohira: We as a developer and asset owner will try our best to assure that the office spaces are far better than your own residential societies, in terms of health and safety. We need more space per person in the office. As developers, we giving a lot more priority to the number of staircases, size of lobbies and corridors, elevator densities, air quality services, etc.

Ramesh Nair: We are seeing more Indian companies getting their employees back to office than MNCs…
Vinod Rohira: The small and medium enterprises offices in India are all 70-100 per cent full as all of them have started coming to work. I think we will be back to the normal working eco system in the next 15-18 months with double vaccination and protocols.

Ramesh Nair: What are some of the changes in the building materials used in construction post-COVID?
Anil Beejawat: Especially now, the tiles with near zero porosity have become a trend, as they do not allow for any bacterial activity on the surfaces. Tiles with glazes, which have germicidal properties, are also now in demand. As far as ceramics and sanitaryware is concerned, the touchless faucets, flushing systems, sensor-based faucets, etc, are all a reality and are much in use now.

Ramesh Nair: Which sectors are you seeing the demand from? And how will the project management industry evolve and grow in the future?
Sumit Rakshit: Logistics was a sector already in boom and the pandemic has only accelerated it. The absorption in the warehousing space is going to increase significantly this year. As India is focusing on being a manufacturing hub, there are a lot of companies that have set up their production units in the country, which will help in the growth of the warehousing industry. Companies are looking to diversify their supply chains to different global locations.

Ramesh Nair: What are the key technological changes you have made in construction?
Vinod Rohira: I would not say anything dramatic has changed from the execution perspective during the pandemic. But now, the health and safety of workers are our priority. A lot of importance is given to individual equipment and maintaining Covid protocols. Works which were manual are becoming more instrumentally aided.

Ramesh Nair: How do we increase the volume of fresh air intake and reduce the recirculated air in the office?
Ravi Sarangan: We need to get back to our basics. The air-conditioning has to be redefined. We are looking at ways where we can get in more fresh air and also reduce the air conditioning technology and using radiant air-conditioning. We have to fundamentally change the way we design spaces and add more ways to include air ventilation by keeping sustainability, and eco-friendly options in mind.

Do tune in for the CWAB Awards on August 20. If you haven’t already, register here, now! 

As construction professionals, it is important to stay up to date about the design-build trends. Knowing and understanding trends, what influences these and how to apply them to your next design is crucial. CONSTRUCTION WORLD, as a countdown to the 16th edition of the CWAB (CW Architects and Builders) Awards to be held on August 20 organised a series of webinar. The third webinar on ‘Design-Build Trends’ was organised on August 18. Prior to this, CW organised a webinar on ‘Designing the Future of Architecture’  on August 6 and on ‘Women in Construction & Architecture’  on August 13. In his keynote Architect Hafeez Contractor said, “Our population is increasing and the need for housing is very large. How we are going to build our future cities is the focus and we need to do it the right way. Our urban cover is quite large compared to other countries. We should not take the farm lands but instead keep them protected for the future. We have to focus on the present urban areas and think about redevelopment. We need to make our cities more compact and denser. We need to provide proper affordable housing to our citizens and that will help us grow as a nation.” India is a growing and developing country. “If we do not create vertical growth, people will be living in slums and they will be a burden on the city,” added Contractor. “Housing is the most important thing for our country. Proper housing will increase health standards and also help in making people more productive in work. We have to get the housing prices to be affordable and livable. The airports should be away from the city, and not curb the land in the cities. We should preserve land and have condensed cities. That is where vertical growth comes in hand.” He further added, “Old materials will give away and we have to think about new materials, because the population will grow as well. We would have to make housing for all, because of which building material prices will increase as well. So, we have to think about new sustainable, affordable, earthquake-proof and other hazard-proof materials which will help in making buildings in small plots. We will be seeing 200-storey buildings and vertical gardens, so the structures should be able to withstand all the natural calamities as well.” Today, time and money plays an important role. “We have devised a new way to do economic housing, where we can give more number of flats in the same area. We are giving 10 per cent of more useable area. We are using materials and land to the maximum capacity in the most sustainable way. More problems will help in better creativity,” added Contractor. His empowering keynote was followed by an enthusiastic discussion moderated by Ramesh Nair, CEO India & Managing Director, Market Development, Colliers, with panel members including Anil Beejawat, CEO, RAK Ceramics India; Sheetal Rakheja, Partner, AEON Designs; Sumit Rakshit, Managing Director & Head Project Management Services, Savills India; Ravi Sarangan, Co-founder, Edifice and Vinod Rohira, CEO, Mindspace Business. Excerpts: Ramesh Nair: What are the changing needs of occupiers witnessed in the last 15-17 months? Sumit Rakshit: Due to the pandemic, the role of the physical office has indeed changed. Some key takeaways from our occupier clients are: More flexible work is expected and hybrid work will require hybrid work places. Portfolio adjustment is bound to happen and long term strategies are a consideration. The workplace is quickly changing from the dedicated private space to a shared collaborative space. The whole space is being rebuild around the employee experience. Ramesh Nair: What are some of the big design changes you have been seeing in the workplace post-Covid? Sheetal Rakheja: Earlier, people used to look at per person per square feet going to high density, now it is back to giving more space to per work station. Looking at the environment, the offices are bringing Nature in. A lot of importance is being given to wellness and sustainability. The focus is changing to rethinking of spaces, taking social distancing as an important factor and making it minimalistic. Ramesh Nair: What are the technological changes seen in the office spaces post-COVID? Ravi Sarangan: Technology in a way has enabled us to work remotely. It always helped us to design, visualise, stimulate and get to see it before you build it. Technology, along with Artificial Intelligence, is going to help us in construction and help minimise errors. Today, IoT helps us monitor projects from the comfort of our home and faraway places, and in future, it will get even more simpler. But, there will a time when there will be a barrier to technology as well. Ramesh Nair: As one of the largest developers in the country, what are you doing to give back comfort to occupiers to return to the workplace? Vinod Rohira: We as a developer and asset owner will try our best to assure that the office spaces are far better than your own residential societies, in terms of health and safety. We need more space per person in the office. As developers, we giving a lot more priority to the number of staircases, size of lobbies and corridors, elevator densities, air quality services, etc. Ramesh Nair: We are seeing more Indian companies getting their employees back to office than MNCs… Vinod Rohira: The small and medium enterprises offices in India are all 70-100 per cent full as all of them have started coming to work. I think we will be back to the normal working eco system in the next 15-18 months with double vaccination and protocols. Ramesh Nair: What are some of the changes in the building materials used in construction post-COVID? Anil Beejawat: Especially now, the tiles with near zero porosity have become a trend, as they do not allow for any bacterial activity on the surfaces. Tiles with glazes, which have germicidal properties, are also now in demand. As far as ceramics and sanitaryware is concerned, the touchless faucets, flushing systems, sensor-based faucets, etc, are all a reality and are much in use now. Ramesh Nair: Which sectors are you seeing the demand from? And how will the project management industry evolve and grow in the future? Sumit Rakshit: Logistics was a sector already in boom and the pandemic has only accelerated it. The absorption in the warehousing space is going to increase significantly this year. As India is focusing on being a manufacturing hub, there are a lot of companies that have set up their production units in the country, which will help in the growth of the warehousing industry. Companies are looking to diversify their supply chains to different global locations. Ramesh Nair: What are the key technological changes you have made in construction? Vinod Rohira: I would not say anything dramatic has changed from the execution perspective during the pandemic. But now, the health and safety of workers are our priority. A lot of importance is given to individual equipment and maintaining Covid protocols. Works which were manual are becoming more instrumentally aided. Ramesh Nair: How do we increase the volume of fresh air intake and reduce the recirculated air in the office? Ravi Sarangan: We need to get back to our basics. The air-conditioning has to be redefined. We are looking at ways where we can get in more fresh air and also reduce the air conditioning technology and using radiant air-conditioning. We have to fundamentally change the way we design spaces and add more ways to include air ventilation by keeping sustainability, and eco-friendly options in mind. Do tune in for the CWAB Awards on August 20. If you haven’t already, register here, now! 

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